FCA approves James Hay’s £145m acquisition of Nucleus

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has approved James Hay’s £145 million acquisition of financial advisor platform Nucleus.

The combined financial planning and retirement platform that is set to be formed will have £47 billion of assets under management.

The Salisbury-based James Hay’s parent company the IFG Group was sold to private equity firm Epiris for £206 million in 2019. It currently employs around 600 people in the UK.

Richard Rowney, current chief executive officer at Hay, will lead the new platform.

However, the platforms are set to operate independently for the “foreseeable future” as plans for the integration are finalised.

The deal received 92 per cent approval from Nucleus’s shareholders and the transaction is now only subject to formalities.

The leadership structure of the new platform is yet to be announced, and there is no confirmation about whether David Ferguson, who founded Nucleus in 2006, will join the board.

Nucleus has reported strong performance in recent months; it reported assets under administration for its most recent financial quarter grew 19.2 per cent to £18.9 billion.

“We see this as a coming together of the very best parts of both businesses, building on our retirement expertise and their digital capability to develop a service that truly meets the needs of advisers and their customers,” said Rowney. “Since 2006 we’ve always tried to do the right thing and put the customer centre stage,” said David Ferguson chief executive of Nucleus. “Actually meaning that has made us a little bit different from others in the sector but it also carried us to £19 billion in assets under administration and led to this deal”

He added: “We have full respect for the challenges ahead and are energised by the goal of working with our new colleagues to create the UK’s most respected and successful adviser platform.”

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